Teaching the basics of clinical pharmaceutical care: innovative pharmacy workshops at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Nebraska.Fam Med. 2004 Jan; 36 Suppl:S89-92.FM
Safe and effective prescription writing, using drug formularies, and managing pharmaceutical care are skills medical students need to acquire. Spurred by the Undergraduate Medical Education for the 21st Century (UME-21) grants, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Nebraska independently developed educational workshops to address these competencies.
The University of Wisconsin's workshop is presented to medical students at the start of their third year. They receive information from pharmacists on medication errors, prescription writing, and drug formularies. A "learners guide" summary is discussed by a physician, which brings into focus the clinical application of the didactic session. A small-group session follows with hands-on experience in writing prescriptions and using formularies for three patient case scenarios. The workshop at the University of Nebraska consists of three sessions during the third-year internal medicine clerkship. In the first session, pharmacists discuss formularies, the Pharmacy and Therapeutics (PT) committee, and the preparation of a drug monograph. During the second session, students develop an evidence-based drug monograph on a product or herbal. In the final session, the class functions as a mock PT committee, and after listening to the drug monographs, determines whether the product should be added to the formulary. We evaluated students' satisfaction with the workshops using Likert scales and assessed students' ability to correctly fill out a prescription form.
Both workshops were well received. The mean rating at University of Wisconsin was 1.7 on a scale of 1 (satisfied) to 7 (dissatisfied), and at University of Nebraska it was 3.8 with 5 (outstanding) to 1 (unacceptable). At the University of Wisconsin, on a year-end skills assessment involving 148 students, 100% of the students properly filled out a prescription. Ninety-four percent received an excellent grade, 6% a pass, and no marginal or failing grades were given out.
The workshop on pharmaceutical prescribing was rated favorably by students. After participating in the workshop, students acquired skills in prescription writing.